WALLEYE NEWS

AIS Grant APPLICATION

DNRC and MISC will be accepting grant applications beginning August 1 to fund aquatic invasive species projects. 

NEW this cycle: 

  • DNRC is transitioning from WebGrants to Submittables and this change will make it easier to complete and manage your application online. Grantees will  be able to complete reports, send notifications, and track and edit submissions. Click here to create an account and here to watch a video on how to get started with Submittables.       
  • MISC has established permanent dates for the annual AIS grant cycle.

Application cycle opens:   August 1 
Application cycle closes:  1st Wednesday in November by 5 p.m. (11/3/21)
AIS Grant Hearings:           2nd Wednesday in January (1/12/21)  

Up to $50,000 is available per project to Montana communities or local, state, tribal, or other entities within the state and to Montana-based non-governmental entities.

AIS grants are intended to increase local capacity and involvement to address AIS issues. Projects that address the following AIS management components are eligible and include:

  • Prevention
  • Early detection
  • Education and outreach
  • Research
  • Treatment

Current state-wide priorities that have been identified and vetted with former grantees and stakeholders for the upcoming AIS grant cycle include grants related to:

  • Monitoring / early detection projects to expand local capacity and involvement in multi-AIS taxa early detection efforts.
  • AIS outreach projects that expand AIS awareness at the local level.
  • AIS research projects including eDNA research related to dreissenid mussel early detection addressing eDNA Science Advisory Panel recommendations.

Locally-led proposals that address the state-wide priorities will receive ranking preference, however all eligible grant requests will be evaluated and considered.

Applications are due Wednesday, November 5, 2021, by 5 pm.  

AIS Grant Program Guidelines and application instructions can be found here.

Please contact Stephanie Criswell with any questions about the program, the grant and application, or for technical support. 

Thank you for your interest and for Protecting Montana Waters.

FWP to meet June 24th via ZOOM – June 8th

Fish and Wildlife Commission to meet June 24

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet June 24 via Zoom. Details on how to access the meeting will be posted on fwp.mt.gov closer to the meeting date. The meeting will also be audio streamed online at fwp.mt.gov. The meeting begins at 8:30 a.m.

If you get online prior to 8:30 or the start of the meeting, you may need to refresh your web browser when the meeting begins.

The commission will make final decisions on the following:

  • Madison River recreation committee appointees
  • Extending implementation date of Madison commercial use cap
  • 2021 fish removal projects
  • Buffalo Creek fishing regulation change
  • TNC recreational access agreements
  • Avista recreational access agreements
  • Stimson recreational access agreements
  • North Shore WMA farming lease
  • Calf Creek forestry habitat project
  • Administrative rule repeal regarding classification of black bear
  • Chronic wasting disease work plan
  • Nonresident hound handler permits
  • 2021 mountain lion quotas
  • Elk guiding principles and timeline

The commission will hear the following proposals:

  • Kootenai Falls and Bull River WMAs blowdown salvage project
  • Nongame check-off annual work plan
  • Jordan urban wildlife plan
  • 2021 muzzleloader deer and elk season
  • 2021 furbearer season regulations and quotas
  • 2021 wolf season regulations
  • 2021 elk shoulder season
  • 2021 HB 454 agreements

The commission will look at endorsing:

  • Stuart Mill Bay FAS partial sale
  • Brown’s Lake FAS peninsula acquisition
  • 26 Mile MDT FAS lease
  • Montana Rail Link Clark Fork River temporary closure
  • 2021 pheasant translocations – UGBEP and youth pheasant

FWP ensures its meetings are fully accessible to those with special needs. To request arrangements, call FWP at 406-444-3186. For the full agenda and background on the scheduled topics, go to the FWP click “Commission.”

FWP’s website offers live streamed audio of each Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting.

Anglers Forum Update – May 21st

Out first anglers forum since the fall of 2018 was held today. This forum consists of fishing organizations throughout the state so that we can discuss possible issues, resolve them, and improve our fishing opportunities. Myself, Bob Gilbert and Dale Gilbert are members. Bob will be sending a more detailed account later of the meeting.

Most of the meeting was focused on FWP funding approved by the legislature. FWP received most of what they asked for plus some additional funds that they didn’t request.

I’ve attached several documents concerning fish stocking that were handed out at the meeting.

FWP is requesting public input on current fish removal projects (the deadline for comments is June 3rd), the website link is; https://fwp.mt.gov/conservation/fisheries-management/removal-projects

Mike Sedlock

First 2021 Tournament is in the books! – May 24th

Top 5 Overall results from Crooked Creek Classic Tournament
1st – Jake Monroe and Jeff Ingram – 60.76 lbs
2nd – Kyle DeBolt and Matt Heinert – 49.86 lbs
3rd – Nate Molstad and Jerry Molstad – 49.38 lbs
4th – Bob Hickey and Jason Mundel – 49.04 lbs
5th – Steve Thomas and Ray Cole – 44.76

Click on Tournament/Results to see a full listing of results

Park board to discuss Hell Creek State Park lease agreement proposal – April 25th

HELENA – The Montana State Parks and Recreation Board will meet April 27 to discuss a proposal to enter a two-year, no-cost lease agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the operation and maintenance of Hell Creek State Park on Fort Peck Reservoir. The proposal includes the option of two one-year extensions.

Under this proposed action, FWP will work with the Little Shell Tribe during the upcoming lease term. The Tribe has expressed interest in managing the federally owned recreation site in the future.

“This path forward will ensure continued operations at the site for the anglers and visitors who value Hell Creek and the recreational opportunities found there,” said FWP director Hank Worsech.

An environmental assessment analyzing the proposal was released today. The public can comment on the EA by emailing board members at parksboard@mt.gov and at the public meeting. To view a draft of the environmental assessment and to provide public comment, please visit fwp.mt.gov and click on “News and Public Notices.”

The board meeting will be conducted via Zoom. Due to COVID-19, there will be no in-person meeting. For information on participating in the hearing, visit the Parks and Recreation Board page on fwp.mt.gov. The main agenda item will be “Hell Creek State Park lease renewal with the Army Corps of Engineers.”         

The 337-acre park on the south side of Fort Peck Lake is an important public recreational site. FWP has had a long relationship with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the park, with a formal relationship dating back to at least the 1960s.

During the term of the previous lease, significant capital investments were made on the site, including staff housing units, a maintenance building, comfort station, electrification of the public campground, and significant investments in site infrastructure related to public safety (public water supply and wastewater disposal).

FWP announces change to walleye regulation in section of Missouri River, Canyon Ferry and Hauser reservoirsApril 15th

GREAT FALLS – Anglers need to be aware of a new fishing regulation change for walleye on the Missouri River from Toston through Canyon Ferry and Hauser Reservoir.  

The new regulation went into effect April 1 and are limits for walleye of 10 daily, only one over 15 inches. Possession limit is twice the daily limit. 

This regulation was approved by the Fish and Wildlife Commission at its meeting April 1 and went into effect immediately.


FWP Zoom Meeting Recap on Canyon Ferry Rules – April 5

Here is a link to the FWP ZOOM MEETING held 4/1 about Canyon Ferry and Upper Missouri Proposed new fishing regulations for Daily Walleye limits down to 10 with only 1 over 15″.

Upper Missouri River Management Plan – Your comments needed!

The Upper Missouri River Reservoir Fisheries Management Plan guides fisheries management for Canyon Ferry, Hauser, and Holter Reservoirs and the Missouri River from Toston to Canyon Ferry and from Hauser Dam to upper Holter Reservoir. The plan sets fisheries goals to maintain quality multi-species fisheries throughout the system and outlines strategies to effectively meet goals. Development of the plan was completed through rigorous public process and was approved by the Fish and Wildlife Commission in December 2019.

Proposal, changes to current fishing regulations, and survey are all due March 15th.

https://fwp.mt.gov/conservation/fisheries-programs/upper-missouri-management-plan?fbclid=IwAR0_qBx4Yj1SxjA_9zE_9sR9_sL9fxteD_DnB5CdRinXNrvG06dG_jtJMFA

**What we would like to see if the proposed limit for the reservoirs of 10 daily with 1 over 15” be approved. And for the river we would like to see the same regulation applied of 10 daily with 1 over 15”

Walleyes Unlimited Legislature Preference ListJan 28

Click on the link below to view a list of all bills Walleyes Unlimited are following for this 2021 Montana Legislature session.

http://laws.leg.mt.gov/legprd/law_utilities.CallBillSearchResults?P_ENTY_ID_SEQ2=16481&P_PFLT_APPL_SEQ=1&P_SESS=20211

HB 152 – Second offense for plug violation – Jan 18

It is a secondary offense violation. A vehicle has to be stopped for a different violation before Law Enforcement can check for the plug violation. It is written like our seat belt law.  Applies only to Highway Patrolman, Sheriff’s Officers, and City Policemen. Game Wardens have no authority to enforce traffic or motor vehicle registration laws, only Fish and Game laws. 

https://legiscan.com/MT/bill/HB152/2021

Even a worse idea than I thought. 

Please use our contact page and select Executive Director – Bob Gilbert

Thank you,
Bob Gilbert  E.D.Lobbyist

HB 154 Requires drain plugs to be removed while trailering Jan 11

Notice On 1-12-21 House Bill 152 was assigned to the House Natural Resources Committee.  As of today, 1-14-21, a hearing date has not been scheduled.  The Bill is sponsored by Neil Duram from Eureka at the request of the Department of Natural Resources.  Not from FWP. The Bill will require that all boat drain plugs be removed during transit in the State.  The WUM Board discussed this same proposal a couple of years or so ago and decided not to support it.  I am asking for member input with your opinions.  Also, since the time for the hearing will be soon please call or email your Legislators on the House Natural Resources Committee and express your opinions.

This is a bad idea and needs to be defeated.  Please note the comments on the Bill by Dale Gilbert.  He is spot on.

  1. Since we are already required to remove the plug, clean and dry the boat prior to leaving a site….what additional benefit is gained by leaving the plug removed?  Does the benefits out weigh the risks?
  2. Leaving the plug removed would potentially result in the loss of the plug, damage to the boat drain hole from the a plug left dangling while trailering down the road.
  3. Leaving the drain plug removed will also likely result in boaters forgetting to replace it prior to launching and creating a dangerous situation or at the very least congestion at the ramp while they are trying to get the plug in or have to reload the boat.

Please get in touch with Committee Members or email to me at your earliest convenience.      Please use our contact page and select Executive Director – Bob Gilbert

Thank you,
Bob Gilbert  E.D.Lobbyist

2021 MONTANA FISHING ENHANCEMENT ACT

PREAMBLE Whereas sport fishing is part of Montana’s rich outdoor heritage, and fishing is culturally important to over two hundred thousand residents of Montana, 100,000 out-of-state visitors and whereas sport fishing is a $280,000,000 dollar industry in Montana, and whereas the total angler days of fishing in Montana appears to be declining for both resident anglers and visitors, and that a very large percent of the sport fish caught in Montana are non-native fish, NOW THEREFORE it is policy of the State Montana to:

1. Recognize the cultural importance of sport fishing in Montana for all important fish species.

2. Recognize the economic importance of sport fishing in Montana

3. Give equal recognition to both native fish and important non-native fish of economic and cultural importance.

4. Important Montana fish species include non-native Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout and Brook Trout; Westslope Cutthroat Trout; Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout; Bull Trout; Arctic Grayling; Mountain Whitefish; Northern Pike; Walleyes; Yellow Perch; Kokanee Salmon; Largemouth Bass; Smallmouth Bass; Crappies; Catfish; Sauger; non-native Lake Trout; and Lake Superior Whitefish.

5. Montana FWP shall take all appropriate steps to improve and enhance fishing opportunities in Montana for all species of importance

6. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks shall update the state fisheries management plan to ensure maintaining healthy and viable populations for all fish of importance as mentioned in this legislation. The update of the state fish management plan shall include extensive public meetings and will consider public input.

7. Any fish management project to assist native threatened or endangered or sensitive fish species, which reduces sport fishing opportunities for other fish species of importance, shall provide for replacement sport fishing opportunities of the fish species displaced.

8. All existing fish hatcheries shall be kept open and in full production similar to average hatchery production for the last five years. FWP shall provide a complete assessment of the current fish hatchery system, future needs and recommended changes, including budget requirements to the 2023 Legislature.


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